Working Mom. The term comes with a sense of accomplishment and the ever-present wave of emotions. I cannot tell you I have it all figured out, but I CAN tell you how I have learned to create physical and mental space to focus on one thing at a time, one day at a time.
It took a long time to find my stride and a workplace that allowed and trusted me to do both jobs well. When I first met with Green Room, I knew something was different. I talked with one employee after the next – each a working mom herself. I kept hearing words like “balance,” “trust,” “flexibility,” and “support.” It became clear that Green Room was really “walking the walk.” And what says it all is the retention rate, which speaks volumes about how great their culture truly is. In addition to finding a great culture fit for me, below are key components that have been tested and tweaked to help me remain successful at the balancing act. And even today, I am still refining my methods.
Time Management. As a working mom, I often feel like there is just not enough time in the day for it all. Something that helps me make the most of each day is being smart about how I spend my time. Below are four consistent steps I take to organize my time.
- Reviewing my work and family calendars on Sunday to sort out coverage.
- Prepping and reprioritizing my to-do list every afternoon for the next day ahead.
- Booking dedicated time in my calendar to work on certain projects.
- Allowing for short “brain breaks” throughout the day to help me bring my best, most strategic self to my next assignment.
Communication. In healthcare PR, it is literally our job to communicate about complex topics and corporate issues and still, the struggle is real to communicate our own personal and professional needs. One element of the Green Room culture that I love is that asking for help is encouraged. When I feel my workload getting too full, I raise my hand. It ends up being better for me (mentally), but also allows us to get more done for our clients, faster.
Work-Life Integration. Whether you are a mom or not, everyone deserves balance. Work-life integration is one of the most important pillars of Green Room’s cultural values and one of the most prominent reasons I wanted to work here. It allows us to set personal boundaries to prioritize our lives and, in turn, bring our best selves to work. Our “in-and-out” Slack channel is also great to quickly communicate when I am stepping away to drop something off at daycare or to take a “brain break.” The key is to communicate and have a supportive team at work (and at home!) to cover for you. Likewise, there are high-priority work events that come up and for these, I rely on my village at home (e.g., husband, daycare, mother-in-law, meal subscriptions!)
Flexibility. As most working parents know, you cannot always plan for the unexpected. Life happens and no matter how strong your village is or how many back-up plans are in place, flexibility is one of the most important assets to keeping it “seemingly” all together. For those days, I flex my hours by picking up an extra hour or two on a day when I know things will have calmed down.
As a parent, I feel it is incredibly important for my children to see how hard I work AND how present I am when I am around them. I am setting an example for possibilities I hope they see for themselves one day. I want them to know that they can achieve anything through hard work and dedication and, most importantly, that you do not have to sacrifice one role over the other. Working at Green Room allows me to feel more whole as a person; able to chase my passion, provide for my family and remain completely plugged into both worlds. My only regret is not having worked here sooner.